Ombudsman suspects city run by just Mayor, deputy mayor and a councillor

The Corporation of Hamilton is being run by an “inner core” of just three elected officials, according to Ombudsman Arlene Brock.

Although nine councillors were elected on the Team Hamilton ticket, rumours of a split within the group have circulated for several months.

And in her report into the running of the Corporation, Ms Brock said: “By the end of this investigation, it became clear that there was an inner core of three members [Mayor Graeme Outerbridge, Deputy Mayor Donal Smith and councillor Keith Davis] who knew and seemed to agree on everything.

“An additional two members [Alderman Carlton Simmons and councillor George Scott] who were informed about most matters and usually voted with the inner core constituted the core members.

The remaining four members of the Corporation [Alderman Gwyneth Rawlins and councillors Larry Scott, Troy Symonds and RoseAnn Edwards] were more or less informed and sometimes dissented depending on the subject matter and which meetings they attended.

Mr Symonds eventually resigned from the Corporation in October in protest at how the council was operating, while Ms Rawlins and Mr Scott have publicly criticised the administration in recent months after it made a slew of controversial decisions.

However, Mayor Outerbridge this month denied that his team is split.

In her report, Ms Brock said that the four councillors not included in the inner core were not always notified about closed caucus meeting that were “called at the drop of a hat”.

“Interviewees question the legality of such meetings where decision making rather than just socialising or sharing of ideas seemed to be taking place,” she said.

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Published Dec 14, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated Dec 13, 2013 at 10:19 pm)

Ombudsman suspects city run by just Mayor, deputy mayor and a councillor

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